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The Meaning in Meaninglessness
by Terry Barlow
03/17/14
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One man was visiting his older brother in a nursing rehab facility. They didn’t have many of these opportunities any more. Among other things they watched an NFL football game together. It so happened they both had the same favorite team and that team’s game was being televised locally. It was a “meaningless” game in terms of its implications for the playoff scenario, since both teams had been eliminated from the playoffs. But it was a very MEANINGFUL game in another sense for both brothers because they could watch and enjoy it together just like old times. It was made even more enjoyable by the fact that their favorite team won the contest, though they would have enjoyed it either way. As young boys they had often watched the same team in the living room of their home with their family. It was a kind of moratorium from a lot of discord and dysfunction. Everyone was pulling for the same team on those occasions, so their was a rare kind of family unity they experienced if only for those moments. There were other programs also that the whole family enjoyed watching together on a weekly basis. Looking back those were probably the best and most peaceful moments that the family had, taken for granted at the time but savored all these years later.  It has been wisely put that we "live life forward but understand it backward."   “Wait a minute!” Someone might ask, “you mean the highlight of your lives together was around the’boob tube’?! That’s sad.” Yes, just as there was rich meaning in a technically “meaningless” game, there were regularly reoccurring highlights and there was needed refuge in the numbing flickering lights of the so called idiot box. Sad, maybe, but happily true too....



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